Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cinema Catechism Returns
This Thursday: Amazed and Afraid: The Revelation of God Become Man

In preparation for the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization, on Thursday, September 13, 2012, at 7 p.m., Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church will begin its study of the Catholicism series with a showing of the first episode, Amazed and Afraid: The Revelation of God Become Man. In addition to the Thursday evening sessions as part of Cinema Catechism, Blessed Sacrament is delighted to also present a Sunday morning series, each Sunday at 9 a.m., beginning on September 16.

Here is a description from the Catholicism website:
The strange and dangerous words of Jesus of Nazareth set up a drama that will culminate in a surprising battle between two kings and in the wake of this conflict an empire will be defeated and the world will be changed.

Father Robert Barron illuminates and explains the conviction of the Catholic Faith that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah and the revelation of God become man. He shows how Jesus fulfills the four tasks of the Messiah, according to the Old and New Testaments, and how the living legacy of Christ, God and Messiah, is proclaimed by the Church. Join Father Barron as he addresses some of the most controversial questions about the life and identity of Jesus Christ and travels through the mysterious and sacred places of the Holy Land of Israel and the eternal city of Rome.

As with our Cinema Catechism program, Fr. Barron's Catholicism series is a work of the New Evangelization, which seeks to find ways to spread the faith where people have not responded to the more classic forms of evangelization, as well as to reinvigorate and revitalize our own personal faith in and with the One who makes all things new.

During production of the series, Fr. Barron wrote,
My intention is to produce a documentary on the New Evangelization as it is actually practiced. The documentary will feature [travels to various holy sites and other locations]. Those settings will provide the context, and a kind of lens, by which I hope to invite the Church to not only imagine the New Evangelization in the abstract, but also to see it in action.

My message during these adventures will be about laying out the basics of the Church’s proclamation. Announcing the Good News is a matter of giving testimony to the risen Jesus Christ, declaring that he is divine, celebrating the deep humanism of the Faith, and finally, insisting on the indispensability of the Church as the Mystical Body of the Lord. These matters, which have the power to transform our lives and culture, are not merely ideas that are to be discussed, but an invitation to share communion with the divine life itself. In other words, evangelization is not just talk, it is a way of life.

How, then, do we engage this way of life? How do we move evangelization from talk to action? I would like to propose some simple, practical strategies to make it happen.

First, deepen your knowledge of the Catholic tradition. We have in the Church an extremely smart, rich, and profound history that comprises the incomparable Scriptures, treasures of theology, spirituality, art, architecture, literature and the inspiring witness of the saints. To know all this is to enter into a densely textured and illuminating world of meaning; not to know it deprives one of spiritual joy. If there is a first step in evangelization it is to cultivate a passionate regard for knowing what the Church believes, and how those beliefs have been a positive force for sustaining the human spirit.

You can’t share what you don’t know, and if you don’t know the full potential of what the Church has to offer, efforts at evangelization will go nowhere.

Second, let the language of the Faith be naturally on your lips. Many Catholics - consciously or unconsciously - censor our own speech out of fear that interjecting religion into public discourse is offensive. To be sure, we should never be aggressive or overbearing in regards to our Faith, but we should never acquiesce to social conventions that require a privatization of our Faith either.

The Faith must be all pervasive, invading and influencing every dimension of our lives: public and private, personal and professional. Allow your Catholic convictions to come to verbal expression. . . .

Finally, don’t be afraid to pray in public. How many times have you sat down with your family or friends at a restaurant and simply dug into your food without offering a word of thanksgiving? Again, you need not be ostentatious, but a simple, unaffected prayer, publicly offered, can be a powerful witness to the culture. . . . Don’t underestimate the evangelical power of demonstrating your faith in public.

The Lord Jesus told his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all the nations. This call went out, not simply to the leaders of the Church then and now, but to all of us, the baptized. There is a danger that too much talk about evangelization can reduce it to an idea rather than a way of life.
So, in preparation for the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization, in preparing to go out and actually do evagelization and not merely talk about doing it, we are showing this wonderful series to help us expand and strengthen our knowledge of the Catholic Faith so that we can then better live that Faith and give it in love and truth to others.

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